The effects of total-body X irradiation on the prepubertal testis of the CBA/P mouse have been studied. At either day 14 or day 29 post partum male mice were exposed to single doses of X rays ranging from 1.5-6.0 Gy. At 1 week after irradiation the repopulation index method was used to study the radiosensitivity of the spermatogonial stem cells. A D0 value of 1.8 Gy was determined for the stem cells at day 14 post partum as well as for the stem cells at day 29 post partum, indicating that the radiosensitivity of the spermatogonial stem cells in the prepubertal mouse testis is already comparable to that observed in the adult mouse. One, 2 or 3 weeks after irradiation total cell numbers per testis of Sertoli cells, Leydig cells, mesenchymal cells, macrophages, myoid cells, lymphatic endothelial cells, endothelium and perivascular cells were determined using the disector method. The Sertoli cells and interstitial cell types appeared to be relatively radioresistant during the prepubertal period. No significant changes in plasma testosterone levels were found, indicating that there is no Leydig cell dysfunction after exposure to doses up to 6 Gy during the prepubertal period. Taken together, the radioresponse of the prepubertal mouse testis is comparable to that of the adult mouse testis.

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